It is fair to say that some organisations have a negative opinion of sales training. In addition the money it costs, not all members of staff will be able to remember and apply newly acquired knowledge. However, this is only the case if the wrong type of sales training has been adopted. By choosing the right teaching techniques and learning approaches, both the business and workforce can enjoy countless benefits.
Businesses can choose what knowledge will be taught and target specific skills to meet current objectives or future goals. Along with increasing conversions, this can also bring about better customer service and productivity improvements too. Sales training also demonstrates that the business values the workforce, which can improve loyalty, staff retention, and greater recruitment savings in the long run.
As far as sales staff are concerned, they will acquire new skills that build their self-esteem but also contribute to the business as a whole. Training can also boost their chances of receiving a promotion with better prospects and more commission. All the while, motivation and enjoyment levels are kept high, as they will feel respected and valued.
In spite of these advantages, sales training comes at a premium, which numerous companies are reluctant to shell out on. But owing to the fact we have furnished you with the reasons why training makes perfect sense, it seems apt to give you some free resources to benefit from as well.
After all, what’s better than a freebie, especially when it has to do with sales training?
Top three free sales training materials
HubSpot Resource Library
Despite the fact HubSpot is primarily concerned with developing software for inbound marketing purposes, it also wants to help “businesses attract, engage, and delight customers” by delivering experiences that are “relevant, helpful, and personalised.” To this end, it has made a number of incredibly useful materials available from its Resources Library.
Topics range from e-commerce and education to pricing strategies and proposal design, which means a great deal of businesses can find something to suit its industry or intentions. What’s more, content mediums include eBooks, user guides, webinars, and workshops to cater for every company’s consumption preferences.
Although most materials are related to marketing, there are lots of sales training resources to capitalise on too, which can help improve lifecycle engagement, integrate CRM more effectively and close those all-important deals.
Lesson.ly designs simple and straightforward training software, which gives businesses the power to on-board employees or improve the skillset of customer service representatives through custom-built lessons and courses.
Even though you need to pay for this privilege, Lesson.ly has also made a number of materials available for free on its University resource centre. In addition to helpful sales advice, businesses can also learn about more specific subjects as well.
Sample lessons include “Negotiate Like a Pro: The Four Levers of a Sale,” “Awesome Customer Service 101,” “Marketing Checklist for Internal Training,” and “Employee Harassment Guidelines & Agreement.”
The Sales Training Consultancy
Having worked with “a large number of clients from a wide range of industries, delivering professional, high quality sales training courses,” the Sales Training Consultancy is well positioned to offer up worthwhile advice.
Some businesses might be tempted to sign-up to its in-house sales training programmes, open sales courses or sales coaching, but in many respects there is no need, as a huge amount of content is available for free.
Furthermore, you don’t even need to hand over personal information for the 40+ downloadable guides, which cover subjects like account management, creating rapport, dealing with objections, and sales planning among others.
Top five tips for sales success
Even though these resources are bound to improve the competence and confidence of your staff in specific areas of selling, here are some prevalent and prevailing tips that any business or employee can put to good use.
Proactive prospecting, which includes follow ups
There is no real secret to sales success, because a lot of the time it simply involves picking up the phone and getting busy with calls. So, make sure your workforce is being proactive with prospecting but also following up on old prospects too.
Some members of staff will be reluctant to do this, which is understandable. But if you bring in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system or software, managing clients and customers becomes much easier.
Businesses on a budget don’t need to splash out on expensive solutions either, as a simple Excel document can perform the same purpose. Just make sure you can schedule follows up efficiently and track conversion history with prospects.
Explain to prospects why they should be buying
Before committing to a purchase, prospects will want to know about the plus points of the product or service in question. However, sales staff will need to go beyond saying “because its great quality,” or “guaranteed to work,” as this doesn’t mean anything.
Ambiguous or equivocal responses won’t go down well with prospective customers. They want to know the specific reasons why your offering is better than the alternatives. Therefore, sales staff will need to know in-depth details about the organisation’s products and services, which can include relatable facts and figures.
Harness the power of case studies
Case studies are an incredibly effective and influential way of closing a sale, which can be used to convince undecided prospects that your products and services are proving to be useful and valuable for other people.
If prospects have demonstrated a genuine interest in what you have on offer, they will struggle to find reasons to say no in light of actual evidence. This is especially true with recent stories of success, so start collating case studies for upcoming calls and appointments.
Stand firm and don’t give in to unfair demands
Buyers are entitled to ask for a discount, as this is a fundamental part of the purchasing process. But your sales staff should not panic in this kind of situation and will need to stand firm in the face of tough negotiations.
There is every chance buyers will threaten to walk away from a sale if an agreement on price can’t be met. However, to avoid this scenario from occurring in the first place, sellers should concentrate on factors that money can’t buy.
Establish realistic goals and reward these achievements
By establishing some realistic goals, your sales team will work together and be motivated to succeed. These don’t have to be long-term objectives either and can focus on more immediate end of the month targets.
Upon completion, reward your workforce with a group activity or monetary bonus. This is guaranteed to get your team excited and motivated, which will no doubt bring in more sales.